To be fair, you can't fault Saunders for his pursuit of him. When did we last land the top scorer in our division?
He looks like the type of player we're screaming out for too, so let's hope he delivers! There are plenty of others who’ve arrived at The Racecourse looking good on paper who haven’t delivered on the pitch, and frankly we can't afford for Mangan to join that list.
It'll be nice if he does come off as it'll buck a trend; transfer window signings tend to be born out of desperation and are often doomed to failure.
In the old system I seem to recall the occasional stunning signing on deadline day. Didn’t Mick Harford sign minutes for Birmingham City minutes from the deadline in the 1980s and score the goals that kept them up?
However, such cases are few and far between.
You never know though. Sometimes a few subtle changes to a squad can make a surprising difference. Football’s not as easy to read as the pundits claim-the regularity with which they contradict themselves shows that. I mean, can Rafa Benitez really alternate between fool and genius as often as we’re told he does?
The game is littered with players who looked useless or finished, but suddenly find a new lease of life, Stephen Carr at Birmingham being an obvious current example. He was contemplating giving the game up, having been without a club for a fair spell, when Alex McLeish came in for him.
Although this can happen, the chances of stumbling on a gem are slim when you’re in the bargain basement. That’s why I’m reassured to see we appear to be going after players teams are reluctant to let go-Barry and Mangan are the sort of players we ought to aim for.
Of course, Mangan carries a different sort of baggage, and I'm not going to pretend I'm comfortable with that. Still, everyone was horrified when Gary Bennett signed, but those objections dissolved when he started banging the goals in. I'm going to be a coward and hide behind the football fan's prerogative to decide what sort of signing he is once he's scored a hatful!